Firefighters Battle Damaging Blazes in California, Nevada

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Firefighters have been working over the weekend to battle several intense fires that had broken out in California in what officials have long feared could be an intense, drought-fueled fire season.

The Lowell Fire, which had spread to over 1,500 acres in Nevada County by Saturday afternoon, caused the evacuation of several communities including Red Dog, Chalk Bluff and Cascade Shores over the weekend, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The fire had started near the town of Alta in Placer County, Nevada, and police are reportedly looking for a white Jeep Wrangler that had been seen near the area when the fire started.

The fire had only been 5% contained as of Saturday night, and officials warned that more evacuation orders could be forthcoming.

Firefighters had made more headway against the Wragg Fire burning near Lake Berryessa in Napa and Solano counties. That fire had burned nearly 7,000 acres, but had been brought under 60% containment by thousands of firefighters working overnight.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told the Chronicle that firefighters are making “really good headway” in battling the Wragg fire, and several evacuation orders and highway closures were lifted in the area.

Meanwhile, further west, more than 400 firefighters worked to battle a blaze on Palomar Mountain. That fire was estimated to have burned 167 acres, and firefighters working in difficult terrain were able to get it under 20% containment by Saturday night.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the FAA issued a temporary flight restriction to discourage small aircraft, including drones, from flying in the area where emergency crews are working.